Monday, January 4, 2021

Frida Orupabo at KOENIG2 by_robbygreif

Better than most instagrams curating an [a e s t h e t i c] - Orupabo's @nemiepeba seems actually haunted, everything pulled from lead or poisoned. The trend for a "cursed aesthetic" usually provides the relief of first world absurdity - Wonderbread loaves smeared Crest toothpaste, at the bottom of a pool - allowing both the balm of capitalist recognition and absurdity. Orupabo's curse, lacking the palliative of small humor, instead threatens misrecognition and loss (the subjects always on that cusp of being blown out, periphery, but most importantly frozen - almost embalmed) and the relief valve long lost. Which feels like true curse, hints at the actual possibility of a curse carried.
The difficulty of transferring the accumulative/sifting force of Instagram to a gallery is obvious, and Orupabo's seem like attempts at a medical and forensics means to make something of them.

This seems less an exorcism than an attempt to wire the instagram force of the punctum into the extended life of the studium. To ask us to do something with these images that while affective we pass through with an ease. Into the ashes we pretend is "history." There's something Frankensteinian about it, electrifying it to dance over and over, not allowing to pass into death. Make it do it again. Make it haunt.